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Stay Awarded as Appeal Looms in Toxic Cleanup

(CN) - The owners of a defunct shopping center that leaked toxic dry-cleaning chemicals into the Las Vegas groundwater won an emergency stay on Monday as they prepare to fight liability for the cleanup in the 9th Circuit.

Two days after ordering cleanup of the contamination, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jones awarded $247,157.50 in attorney's fees and $216,724.81 in costs to Robertson & Vick of Westlake, Calif. and $130,890.00 in fees and $8,207.83 in costs to Greben & Associates of Santa Barbara, Calif.

Monday's stay suspends the award for costs while Maryland Square and other defendants appeal to the 9th Circuit. In the meantime, the defendants in the case must post a supersedeas bond, or defendant's appeals bond, of $226,000.

On Dec. 27, Jones issued a permanent injunction ordering the cleanup of tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethene or PCE, and other toxic chemicals released from a former dry cleaner that operated at the Maryland Square Shopping Center from 1969 until 2000.

According to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, chemicals from Al Phillips the Cleaners seeped into the soil and spread through shallow groundwater under an adjacent golf course and residential subdivision, contaminating wells used by the residents of the subdivision.

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